Being accepted into Physician Assistant (PA) school is no easy task. Nationwide, the acceptance rate for individual PA programs is about 5 percent. With a laundry list of requirements, many recent graduates pursue other opportunities in the medical field after their undergraduate education because the commitment to be a PA, even before acceptance into PA school, is substantial. With all that in mind, Teira Pendleton (PA ’20) decided to take on the herculean task before her and pursue her dream of being a PA after completing her bachelor’s degree (which included completing over 1,100 hours of patient care) all while simultaneously playing on her school’s division two basketball team.
“Growing up in Baltimore, my parents put me in sports and organizations to keep me on track. I am the first in my household to go to college, the first to get a bachelor’s and master’s degree. During my undergraduate career at Lincoln University, I knew that I had to work hard to get into PA school. I devoted each summer to volunteering in local hospitals to gain experience and understand the profession more,” shared Ms. Pendleton. “There were points in my undergraduate career where I was getting up at 5am to train for basketball, working in the hospital from 8am to 5pm and then going to back to practice basketball again,” she continued.
Hard work and dedication certainly paid off. After attending a Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Open House, Ms. Pendleton knew that she was home. With an impressive resume and work ethic to match, Ms. Pendleton was accepted to PCOM’s Physician Assistant program on her first attempt.
“I knew that PCOM was the place for me from the moment I stepped on campus. Everyone was very welcoming and genuine. Funny enough, I had previously committed to another university and rescinded my acceptance when I learned that I got into PCOM,” shared Ms. Pendleton.
Following graduation, Ms. Pendleton hopes to serve the community she grew up in. “I will be returning to Baltimore,” shared Ms. Pendleton. “I want to serve the population that raised me.”
In reflecting on her time at PCOM and her journey to becoming a PA, Ms. Pendleton had this advice for students starting their PA education today, “Make sure you continue to pursue your dreams, even if you’re not in the mood you were when you set the dream.”